 A nod of thanks to Bill Teie, Francis Carpenter
 And Bob Dylan
 Onan icy cold morning earlyin1848, James Wilson Marshall, a carpenter
fromNew Jersey,picked up a few nuggetsofgold fromt...
Itwas here, inthis sleepy valley, thattheAmericanDream wasre-defined. Anaccidental
discovery neartheobscure AmericanRiver ...
Theycame. And they came. Englanderscame on anything that would
float. Sometimes taking five monthsto roundCape Hornto get ...
As panning became less effective, the miners moved to more
advanced techniquesfor extracting the precious metal. Butit
was...
Out ofdespair, many 49ers turnedto poker
and other formsofgambling in hopes of
snatchingthe quick fortunesthat had
eluded ...
Most miners lived in tents andcookedtheir foodover anopenfire. Meals
were usuallybeans, baconor localgamecookedover anopen...
Manygave up the dream and went home tothe east. Othersstayed on--just
onemore year theyhoped. Onemore year and they'd stri...
Scenes from the gold rush
Scenes from the gold rush
Scenes from the gold rush
Scenes from the gold rush
Scenes from the gold rush
Scenes from the gold rush
Scenes from the gold rush
Scenes from the gold rush
Scenes from the gold rush
Scenes from the gold rush
Scenes from the gold rush
Scenes from the gold rush
Scenes from the gold rush
Scenes from the gold rush
Scenes from the gold rush
Scenes from the gold rush
Scenes from the gold rush
Scenes from the gold rush
Scenes from the gold rush
Scenes from the gold rush
Scenes from the gold rush
Scenes from the gold rush
Scenes from the gold rush
Scenes from the gold rush
Scenes from the gold rush
Scenes from the gold rush
Scenes from the gold rush
Scenes from the gold rush
Scenes from the gold rush
Scenes from the gold rush
Scenes from the gold rush
Scenes from the gold rush
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Scenes from the gold rush

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Scenes from the Gold Rush is a collection of early photographs and daguerreotypes depicting life during the great California gold rush

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Scenes from the gold rush

  1. 1.  A nod of thanks to Bill Teie, Francis Carpenter  And Bob Dylan
  2. 2.  Onan icy cold morning earlyin1848, James Wilson Marshall, a carpenter fromNew Jersey,picked up a few nuggetsofgold fromthe American River at the siteofa sawmill he was building for JohnSutter nearColoma. By August,the hills above the riverwere strewn with wood hutsand tents as the first of 4,000 miners lured bythe gold discovery scrambled to strike it rich. Prospectors,fromthe East sailed around Cape Horn. Some hiked acrossthe IsthmusofPanama,and by 1849, about 40,000 came to  San Franciscoby sea alone
  3. 3. Itwas here, inthis sleepy valley, thattheAmericanDream wasre-defined. Anaccidental discovery neartheobscure AmericanRiver would forever changea youngnation.The simple life wouldno longer be enough.Inits place would comeanew kind of lifestyle: entrepreneurial, wide-open,free. Thenew Americandream:to get rich; tomakeafortune-- quickly. Instantwealthwashere for the taking.Allacross America,youngmenmadethedecision to goto California. Every city,every hamlet would sendits brightest, its strongest, to California--andeagerly awaittheir triumphantreturn home.They camefrom Europe, Asia,andSouthAmericain searchof instantriches. Itwas oneofthe greatest adventures theworld hadever seen.
  4. 4. Theycame. And they came. Englanderscame on anything that would float. Sometimes taking five monthsto roundCape Hornto get to San Francisco. Theycame from Michigan, Ohio, and western Pennsylvania. Minersfrom Georgia took the Santa Fe Trailand routes acrossMexico. Thosewith money came bysteamer to Panama, then by dugout and mule tothe Pacific side ofthe isthmusfor another steamer to San Francisco. Bythe end of1849 there were40,000 people in the mines. Disillusionment settled in becauseofgrowing problems with lawlessness and sickness.
  5. 5. As panning became less effective, the miners moved to more advanced techniquesfor extracting the precious metal. Butit was a losing battle as thegold reserveswere declining and the numberofminerswas increasing dramatically. The atmosphere offriendly camaraderie so prevalent a year ortwo earlier, was all but gone by1850. Forty-ninerswho expected to make their fortunein a few days found themselves digging for month after month--yearafteryear--with little toshowfor the effort. Frustrationand depression was rampant.
  6. 6. Out ofdespair, many 49ers turnedto poker and other formsofgambling in hopes of snatchingthe quick fortunesthat had eluded them in the rivers.Whenthat didn't work, many turnedto crime. Jails, unnecessarya few yearsearlier, were soon filled. Hangings became common--almost matter offact.
  7. 7. Most miners lived in tents andcookedtheir foodover anopenfire. Meals were usuallybeans, baconor localgamecookedover anopenfire. Most campsandmining townswere canvastents or woodenbuildings.Fires were very common.Manycampsandtownswere completelydestroyed byfire. Someseveral times. Heavy rainandsnowduring thewinter monthsmade forvery difficult living andminingconditions.Mostminers spent thewinter inSan Francisco or somemining town. Sicknessandcoldswere commonfrom sleeping oncold,dampground. Thefoodwas notvery nutritious resulting ingenerally poor health. Scurvywascommonfrom lackoffruits andvegetables. Sanitationwas poor and miners seldom bathedor washed their clothes.
  8. 8. Manygave up the dream and went home tothe east. Othersstayed on--just onemore year theyhoped. Onemore year and they'd strikeit rich. And there were the occasional luckystrikes well into the 1850s--just enoughgood news to encouragethe massesto continuedigging. Most failed every day, but they kept on--yearafter year. Dejected, disappointed, many would neverreturn home toloved onesback east--they would die in California, broken by a dream that nevercame true.

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